I have been reading old cookbooks again. This one is from 1918 and is called “Foods That Will Win the War and How to Cook Them”. It gives a lot of information on older cooking techniques. Here are a few tips on using meat and fish.
“Test the freshness of meat and fish. Staleness of meat and fish is shown by loose and flabby flesh. The gills of fresh fish are red and the fins stiff.”
“Learn to use drippings in place of butter for cooking purposes.”
“Keep a stock pot. Drop into it all leftovers. These make an excellent basis for soup stock.”
“Don’t throw away the heads and bones of fish. Clean them and use them with vegetables for fish chowder or cream of fish soup.”
“Tell the butcher to give you the trimmings of chicken, i.e., the head, feet, fat and giblets. They make delicious chicken soup. The feet contain gelatin, which give soup consistency.”
You will notice that most of these tips involve using the whole fish or animal. Today we have become spoiled; we only buy the best cuts of meat and avoid things like brains, tripe, heads and internal organs. Although in truth, you eat them more than you think, for instance hot dogs and chicken nuggets.
In a real serious emergency, you will need to learn to utilize the whole animal including the fats. Without the prepared food and the choice of oils we now enjoy, you will have to go back to using animal fats for cooking especially in cold climates. They are a good source of calories. Recipes to follow.